Pinnacles FC district teams perform well at Kings Park

Penticton Pinnacles FC district team give visiting opponents tough battle on weekend in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League action

Pinnacles FC under-15 forward Michael Jones

Pinnacles FC under-15 forward Michael Jones

A 3-0 shutout against the Kamloops Blaze helped the Penticton Pinnacles FC under-16 girls clinch first place in the Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League.

Pinnacles coach Derrick Webb said his team’s effort was fantastic. He praised his backline and said Kylie Erb and McKenzie Ricard were “fantastic.” The shutout is also their third consecutive that Webb said Erb and Ricard played a role in earning. Webb was impressed with their third goal, scored by Emily Jones.

“We strung four or five passes together, got the ball out wide and knocked the ball into the middle and just a fantastic goal,” he said.

Webb said the key to their win was ball possession. He said the work the girls did with (Pinnacles FC executive director/head coach) Ezra Cremers during the fall is evident.

“The other teams are just ball chasing,” said Webb, whose team is 5-0 in league play. “We are stringing eight to 10 passes together.”

Once the TOYSL playdowns begin, the Pinnacles will play the fourth-place team for a provincial berth.

The Pinnacles FC under-15 girls team suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Kelowna United on Sunday afternoon. Danielle Ruocco and Antonia DePieri scored for the Pinnacles. Coach Carlos Mendonca said it was an evenly-played match, with both teams generating scoring chances.

“They were a bit better at finishing than we were,” said Mendonca. “Our play in the last third wasn’t as strong as Kelowna. It was a back and forth battle. I like how my girls played.”

Mendonca said Ruocco had a strong performance up front and his players distributed the ball well. This weekend the Pinnacles play a home-and-home series with the Kamloops Blaze. Mendonca said the key will be playing with passion and applying pressure. When they are able to do the latter, the Pinnacles have been able to force turnovers. The Pinnacles are 1-3-2 on the season.

A 2-0 victory against Kelowna United helped the Penticton Pinnacles FC under-13 boys team finish its season with seven wins and one loss. Scoring for the Pinnacles were Simon Snyman and Landon Nicol. In goal, the Pinnacles received a strong effort by Jacob Stokker. Pinnacles coach Joe Afonso said his players performed as a team instead of individuals.

“Against tough teams, players start doing things themselves,” said Afonso.

The victory gave the Pinnacles some redemption as they lost to Kelowna earlier in the season 3-0.

“Even if we didn’t win, I was just hoping we could give them a game,” he said.

Next up for the Pinnacles are the playoffs and Afonso expects his team to face Kelowna in the finals. Heading into the playoffs, the Pinnacles coach likes how his group is playing.

“They have confidence. They believe in each other,” he said.

A change in strategy helped the Pinnacles FC under-15 boys team blank Kelowna United 1-0 at Kings Park on Sunday. Knowing Kelowna United possesses a strong mid-field and front, coach John Holman has his players put pressure on the backline and it worked.

What impressed him about the win was the week before Holman felt his players showed a lack of commitment. That wasn’t the case on Sunday.

“Every player wanted to win which was fantastic,” said Holman, adding that the defence was strong. “We competed well. I think we deserved to win.”

Utilizing their speed also helped Kelowna get knocked off their game.

“We closed them down,” said Holman. “It was a good all around team performance.”

The Pinnacles finished second with a 4-2-1 record. Holman said the win just means the two teams will battle again in a few weeks.

“They know they have a tough game to get to provincials,” he said. “I think we are getting stronger and getting more confident. I definitely think we can get into provincials.”

Tyrell Buckley scored the winning goal. Laurenz Schirrmeister earned the shutout.